The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Sports Cribs crawl/run/swim/battle etc.

As I approached DAG house 1128 East St., AKA Pine Tree House, I think I expected a secret castle situation—Pine Tree house on East Street without, stony castle within. And in the beginning it looked pretty good—there was a broken cinderblock with a rope looped through it on the deck—both adequate castle building material and a potentially scary weapon.

Plus, if you know anything about castles, then you know that the hardest part is getting in, which is absolutely true at DAG house, where the doorbell has been broken for several months.

“Yeah, FM was supposed to get us a doorbell,” said resident Erika Graham ’10, who happened to find me lingering by the locked door. She went on to laugh at the whole doorbell thing, noting its irony in the face of DAG house’s open door policy. DAG is the commonly used abbreviation for the campus club devoted to DAGorhir—a combat-driven battle game—and accessibility is key to DAG house’s being a headquarters.

“DAG house acts as a nexus for a number of groups,” said resident Hugh Potter ’10. And indeed regulars of the house—which range from the people who live there to members of Chainmale, Belly Dance and various friends who come by to cook or participate in DAG activities—seem to have found a way around the front door. “Some people bang on the back window,” resident Jake Sapir ’10, said.

Inside, the most striking thing about DAG house is probably the weaponry. There’s a massive armoire devoted to it in the foyer and a pile of things to be fixed—ranging from swords to something that looked like a club—spilling out around and into the fireplace in the living room.

“[Storage] is the keystone of our housing proposal,” Graham said. “It would probably all be in my room if we didn’t have a house, so that would be really depressing.”

College-owned Pine Tree House’s massive lawn and large occupancy are also well suited to DAG’s needs. “The yard is huge, which is another reason we like this house, and we’ll sometimes play out there,” Graham said.

But not everyone who lives in DAG house is actually in DAG. The house is as dedicated to the culture surrounding DAG as to the sport itself—in other words, it’s for all citizens of the kingdom, not just the warriors. “DAG, it’s important to understand, is not just the fighting, there’s a load of other things that go on,” Potter said.

In addition to its role as storehouse, lodgings and stage for games both field and console based, DAG house also serves as a place for students to come together. Although sometimes their mode of togetherness involves separate modems. “It’s hilarious when you come in and everyone’s on their laptop,” Potter said. “It’s like a laptop forest.”

Other growths in DAG house’s technological forest include an Xbox, a Playstation 3 and a Wii. “Basically there are a lot of games here,” Potter said.

But the best forms of entertainment in DAG house are those that the residents create for themselves. In the brief span of my visit the crowded living room broke into debates about the role of DAG house, the potentially sexist nature of their quote board and who spent the most nights crashing on the couch. “This is a free spirited discussion environment,” Potter said.

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